Texas chili is not the same as the chili you probably grew up with- it's better! This Texas chili recipe has no beans, no tomatoes and it's made with cubed chuck beef that is cooked for hours until tender and delicious. This Texas chili is the real deal if you are looking to make an authentic chili recipe for your next gathering.
About this Texas Chili:
I have been living in Texas for a while now and I am now finally getting around to documenting some of the most iconic foods in this state. Texas chili is a very serious thing here and I have definitely eaten a lot of it since living in Texas. For me, what has been most helpful in learning about authentic Texas chili is being a judge for our areas chili cook off and meeting cooks from all over the state who come to participate. What I have learned is there are lots of variations but the main parts are always the same.
The main components that make Texas chili unique are:
- There are no beans and no tomatoes used in the Texas chili . The beautiful red color actually comes from chile peppers that are used to make the chili. They are blended with a liquid until smooth and the meat is cooked in this puree for hours until it is tender.
- Oh yes, let me mention the meat. Real authentic Texas chili is NOT made with ground beef. If you want a chili recipe with ground beef (and beans), our meaty chili would be perfect. Texas chili is made with chuck meat that is cubed and cooked until tender.
These are the basics to Texas chili and what makes Texas chili so unique. It is not too dissimilar from the Mexican dish, Chile con carne, which makes sense since Texas was once part of Mexico.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this chili recipe:
- Beef chuck.
- Lots of dried chile peppers. I like to use a variety of chile peppers that have varying levels of heat and sweetness. My favorites for this recipe are dried Ancho chiles, Arbol chiles and New Mexico chiles. You can usually find these in the grocery store sold in bags either in the International food section or the spice section.
- Chicken stock. This is the liquid that you add to the chile peppers to make a sauce. You can also use beef stock or water.
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Masa. This is for thickening the chili up before serving. You can also cook up a torn flour tortilla into the chili to thicken it up.
- My secret ingredient that I add at the end..... Dark chocolate. You do not taste the chocolate and only a little is added but trust me it makes all the difference in the World!
Here are what the steps look like when you make this:
Steps 1-4 are prepping all of your ingredients for the Texas chili. This will be the bulk of the time in preparing this recipe and the following steps are just putting it all together and letting it cook (hands off time).
When cubing the meat, you really want to cut the meat into larger pieces because they really shrink down in size after cooking. I aim for about 1 ½ - 2 inch cubes.
What to serve with this Texas chili:
- Warmed Soft Flour tortillas. This is my preference for this authentic Texas chili recipe because the tortillas are traditional and really hold the large pieces of meat well.
- Cornbread. This makes a wonderful side to all versions of chili.
- Tortilla chips. If you cannot get a hold of flour tortillas, tortilla chips work well too.
- Great toppings! I like to add a simple shredded cheddar and sliced jalapeño topping to my Texas chili. You can add sour cream, avocado, Fritos (Texans love to add Fritos!) or any chili topping you prefer.
More Texas Recipes To Try:
- Authentic Pico de Gallo. Not the same as salsa and used for so many dishes.
- Roasted Salsa
- Poblano Quesadillas with Poblano Cream Sauce
- Mexican Horchata. A classic agua fresca that has been enjoyed in Texas for years because of it's Mexican/Tejano culture.
- Refried Bean Tostadas. The best homemade and easy refried beans recipe.
- Loaded Nachos. Our easy sheet pan version.
- Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker). Great for Tacos!
- Easy Spanish Rice
- Rice and Bean Burrito
- Texas Borracho Beans
Authentic Texas Chili Recipe
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- large heavy bottom dutch oven
- 5 lbs chuck roast cubed into 1 ½-2 inch pieces and make sure to trim any excess fat from the outside before cubing the meat.
- 10 dried chile peppers (seeds removed) I use a mix of dried Arbol, New Mexico and Ancho Chile peppers. You can use any variety you like or can find.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 48 ounces unsalted chicken stock divided
- 2 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp masa
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Spanish onion finely diced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more to taste
Preparing the ingredients
- Cut the chile peppers in half and remove the seeds.10 dried chile peppers (seeds removed)
- Place chile peppers in a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to warm them.
- Remove the peppers from the microwave then add 32 ounces of chicken stock to the bowl of peppers and place back in the microwave and heat for 2 minutes.
- Remove bowl from the microwave, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Chop the onions and garlic and set aside.1 Spanish onion, 5 cloves garlic
- Cut the meat into 1 ½ - 2 inch cubes and set aside.5 lbs chuck roast
- Now add the chile peppers and the liquid to a high speed blender and puree until smooth.
Cooking the Chili.
- Pre-heat a large bottom dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add vegetable oil to pot.1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Now add the meat in batches and sear the meat on all sides.
- Once the meat is all seared, remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
- Add onions to the pot and sauté onions for 3 -4 minutes.
- Now add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the pureed chile peppers to the pot and stir.
- Add the remaining chicken stock (16 ounces) to the pot along with the kosher salt and mix well.1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Add the meat back into the pot and make sure to press the meat down into the liquid with a spoon so the meat is coated with the liquid.
- Bring the meat to a simmer then reduce heat to low.
- Place a lid on the pot almost all the way, leaving the lid cracked a little to allow the steam to escape.
- Cook for 2- 3 hours stirring occasionally (about every 30 minutes.)
- After the meat is tender, add the masa and dark chocolate to the pot and stir until incorporated.2 ounces dark chocolate, 2 tablespoon masa
- Taste for any additional salt.
- Serve with warmed tortillas and lime wedges.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here